Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Crab Theory Against George Veditz?

quicktime YouTube

Thomas O. Gray who wrote "Windy City Observations" in Silent Worker of 1926 stated that George Veditz intimated Mussolini with a wish to become dictator over all organization of the deaf. George Veditz wanted to consolidate of the two- Frat and Nad- bodies into one. However, not many find this agreeable to his proposal. Veditz was being criticized by Gray but was this an example of crab theory?

Gray felt that NAD should not merge with Frat because it would become an organization known to "preach calamity insurance." Veditz proposed that two organizations to jointly hold their conventions at the same city, at the same time. Now why do you suppose he suggested that? I could imagine due to difficulty of transportation and money, Veditz may thought it would be more effective to kill two birds with one stone. I find it interesting how Gray criticized Veditz and accused him as a dictator however he had every right to express his opinion that NAD should operate as a strict business of its own and that it should not be a part of selling insurance. So you be the judge if this was an example of crab theory on how Gray criticized Veditz back in 1920's.

Gallaudet FAQ link on Crab Theory


Cy said...

LOL. Facist Mussolini, eh? Guess not much has changed over time! "The more they change things, the more they stay the same!" Know the saying?

Oscar the Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drmzz said...

It is interesting to say that Mussolini is already repuated after four years in office as a dictator. As for Crab Theory, it is hard to determine that on a singular event and need to know if there were other complaints or issues against Veditz beforehand. Gray seems to take ad hominem argument against Veditz's proposal.
Do we still call people dictators today? ;)

Dianrez said...

Gray was definitely trying to undercut Veditz's proposal by attacking him as a person, comparing him to the murderous Mussolini.

In the 1940's people may not have known the depth of Mussolini's evil, so he probably appeared no more than a petty dictator then.

Gray went a bit overboard in disagreeing with Veditz, and perhaps he was right.

Combining NAD and NFSD at that time made excellent sense when deaf activism was still in its infancy and numbers counted.

Veditz' idea was attractive to the point of being dangerous to the goals of the two groups. In calling him a dictator, Gray undercut Veditz' credibility and caused people to question the wisdom of gathering the groups under the NAD umbrella.

Hopefully today we can criticize ideas and not people in order to make people re-examine things.

Oscar the Observer said...

I wrote in haste. I read Gray's writings. I am forced to agree with Barb's skepticism of Gray's method of criticizing Veditz. I have to agree with drmzz and Dianrez that it was attack on Veditz's character.

On separate note, can you give me bio of Gray? Because his writings before and after this specific article made me feel uncomfortable. Thanks!

Barb DiGi said...

Cy..yes how Veditz was compared to Mussolini that Gray went a bit overboard like Dianerez said however keep in mind that the time written was in 1926 so it may be unintentional to compare Veditz to the facist leader since the development of the Mussolini character may not be fully realized like Mike pointed it out.

Oscar, I am not sure if it matters whoever makes the criticism of comparing one to an evil figure . While I think it is okay to give constructive criticism of Veditz's goal but I actually never condone the idea of Gray attacking on Veditz's character. That was the reason why I brought up whether or not you call this a crab theory.

Oscar the Observer said...

In that case then, I am having a hard time wondering WHY do people have to use crab theory when we already have better term for ineffective criticisms, i.e. logical fallacies. Crab theory according to that Galladuet U.'s FAQ page you referred is about group of people who aren't as successful as they want to be and are upset that others succeed. Gray simply used a fallacious logic when he argued against Veditz's plan. How do I know about logic fallacies? I took Philosophy of Logic class two fall semesters ago and I learned various fallacies that would not make for either cogent or strong argument.
Thank you for the great discussion :).

Aslpride said...

My respond

Barb DiGi said...

Oscar..I think this term is coined specifically for minority groups but it is interesting to note that when typing crab theory on google you get deaf community related sites. On the next page, I finally got to find Indian Crab Theory. So what you are saying is that crab theory means it comes from a person who is not as successful as they want to be. Thomas O. Gray may be successful but perhaps not as successful as Veditz? I will need to find out more about Gray and if you readers happen to know please do share!

ASLpride: Interesting point! So you are saying that crab theory occurs when putting one down to the point that this leader no longer continues his task? All I know is that Veditz established several organizations for the deaf before he became a NAD president from 1907 - 1910 and he taught at several schools for the deaf. And of course, we remember him who preserved and documented sign language film. So what he did after this article was written was questionable if he ceased his leadership. I would need to research more about this unless you readers know something that I dont :-). He passed away in 1937.

Jean Boutcher said...

Some people do not have a good way with words, are at a loss for words, or lack the sophistication of history. Gray, who labelled
Veditz, was the paragon of what I have spelled out above. Jane Kelleher Fernadnes embarrassed scholars by wrongly labelling GFU
protesters with anarchists. Today some unsophisticated people also wrongly label a person "Hitler".

Back to square one, sociologists would tell you that Gray was either stuck with words or was basically jealous of Veditz and was intentionally trying to character-assassinate Veditz if he knew that the majority of deaf people were that gullible and naïve to take Gray's verison to the bank. He used "Mussolini"
hopefully that deaf people would
ostracise Veditz.

It is highly unlikely that it was
a crab antic. It was a simple form of jealousy and belittledment of
Gray toward Veditz. We see many
Grays in the Deaf community.

This is my opinion. :)

Oscar the Observer said...

Also add to interesting point about minority, would it refer to WASPs if they live in minority in other countries? That is why I am somewhat "sticky" with minority idea until I talk to some expert who know more about Crab Theory than FAQ let on because 'minority' is too relative :).

Oscar the Observer said...

I also have additional question, not just for you but the readers also.
When you use Crab Theory, can it refer to an individual or would it be more accurate to apply to a group of upset people who want the successful person to stay at their 'level' whatever it may be?

Barb DiGi said...

Jean..you have a point here. If you look at Gallaudet FAQ site, crab theory also applies people who are jealous of others. "Jealousy is often involved, of course: one Deaf person sees another Deaf person become successful while s/he still is not, so the first Deaf person tries to minimize feelings of “inferiority” by putting down the other Deaf person’s success".

Actually, to answer your question Oscar..WASPs tend to be, historically speaking, economically and educationally advanced. For example they ruled India yet they were a minority there but still have power. If you check out the Indiann Crab Theory site, it said that for them to advance economically or successfuly is not common and that is where they pull them down.

Deaf Farmer said...

My response


David said...

Hi Barb and others.

I find that very interesting. I do not know much about George and Thomas; therefore, I cannot jump into conclusion to decide.

They would label each other bad names privately and/or publicly as part of political rivals similar to our current politicans. I know George was very well known leader of Deaf community for years. I am wondering if Thomas Gray was also well known leader too? If so, I would not call that crab theory. They fought for what they believe in. Thomas had his point as well as George had his own.

I think crab theory is for anyone who attacks leader or anyone for no reason(s).

For example, a person said,"I don't like George; therefore, I dont like all of his ideas." The person has no case to refute his ideas. That is what I called Crab Theory. I do not think that applies to Thomas Gray because he had a case against George's idea.

But again I cannot jump into the conclusion at this moment until we understand their background and their relationship first.


Jaymie said...

Hi Barb,

I really need to get myself onto video so I can iterate myself better, but this will have to do for now.

Here is my understanding about the "crab theory." Let us take a look at actual crabs to begin with. A crab fisherman would take an uncovered barrel, which is about only a feet high and maybe 2 feet wide in diameter. When he catches crabs, he just tosses them inside the barrel and sooner or later, the barrel will be full of crabs. The fisherman doesn't worry about putting a lid on top of the barrel while he continues to fish for crabs. Why is that? Because crabs can not escape, period. If one on the top tried to escape, the one on the bottom or aside would use its claw to pull it down from trying to escape. They all are trying to escape, but every one of them is pulling the other one down, so none have a luck in escaping.

I have experienced an actual incident with the "crab theory." I worked for a Deaf organization (I will not name which one to respect them) and the director there eventually fired me for no reason at all. The director had no good explanation as to why I was given my severance check. Of course, at that time I was in total shock and disbelief as to why the director would just fire me with no prior meeting of any sorts or with no good explanation, so I couldn't think clearly at that moment but to follow the director's instruction to pack up my things and leave immediately. It wasn't until much later after talking to other Deaf leaders in the area about the incident and they agreed that it was an act of the crab theory. What was perceived was that this director saw the potential of me moving up the corporate ladder, so to speak, and I was highly respected by the Deaf community and asked to be the one they would see whenever they came into the office. The director saw the favor in their eyes and felt threatened by my presence and ability to succeed higher. I was in my early 20s at the time and the director was in his mid-40s. He was like an actual crab pulling me right back down into the barrel so I couldn't climb any higher.

I don't interpret the crab theory as a way of criticism or putting down with words. Afterall, this is America, and a country based on freedom of speech/press, so anyone really has a right to speak what they thought or felt. Whatever a person may say (whether or not it be positive or negative) doesn't mean that he/she is correct or wrong. It is merely an opinion. So, Thomas O Gray had a negative opinion about George Veditz, but that doesn't mean he was in the act of the crab theory. If he had caused George to stumble or fall in his leadership regardless it was deemed right or wrong, that would be considered an act of crab theory. ASLPride is correct about the aftermath of the incident and if it was destructive because the one who did the act was preventing them from soaring higher in the community (or in leadership).

Anyway, this is just my point of view on this topic. Sorry it isn't on a vlog. :-)

Chuck Baird said...

When I watched your vlog about what Thomas Gary wrote of George Veditx, I recalled the info I got from reliable person, I vaguely remember who the person was but it was one or the other professor in the Deaf Studies Dept at Gallaudet has mentioned that George was not always well liked in his time. The Deaf folks saw him as conceit, lust for power.

Well, I am pretty sure that it was divided into two large groups with different opinion of him. Another large group was probably indifferent about it. Thomas Gary was not alone saw him like that.

Remember it was 20 years after he signed on the film the famous line.
Things could change in the people's opinions from one way of thinking to another over time.

The professor who told me didnt tell me why they disliked him or I just forgot the part.

But today, he is our hero. The reminded me of Samuel Clement whose pen name as Mark Twian. He was not well liked by the people in his time because they were not happy or comfortable with how he made the character of Jim, the runway slave befriended with Huck Finn on the raft, somewhat as intellect and heroic being. That time, they were not ready for this. But today he is one of the most beloved authors in the American Literature.

Crab theory? I don't know about that. We disproved Jane K. Fernandes as the right choice for the next president that was not a crab theory. Wasn't it?

George is our hero, anyway. We were not there back then. It is hard to say. From my understanding Merv Garrison, maybe the only living person left who grew up and saw him in person, still thinks world of him.

Chuck Baird said...

I meant Veditz. I mistyped.

Jean Boutcher said...

My friend whose name I do not wish to disclose herein because I have
high regards for him (he is now 83 years old). He knew Veditz in the west. He said that Veditz was a
real, real, REAL genius in that era -- unsurpassed by anyone in the deaf community.

Barb DiGi has shown us the FAQ
concerning Crab Theory. Therefore,
Thomas Gray must have committed a
crab antic against Veditz. Gray must have been jealous of Veditz's
genius and ability. Not to mention
Veditz's eloquent speeches and
effective leadership and critical thinking.

Chuck Baird said...

Please excuse me, again, another misspelling. I meant Mervin D. Garretson.

Domvera said...

Hi Barb and other wonderful commenters of all above,

From my perspective on crab theory discussion above of comments, I believed George Veditz made his best effort to be wise for two organizations to merge into one event due to the economical and transportation reasons. I supported his idea, but at the same time, Gray should have encountered him to discuss and to solve the problems without jumping any conclusions as result that he mentioned in his article to call him "Mussolini" in his "crab theory".

I see the whole picture of "crab theory" in our current society. Personally, I know it is not easy to get rid of crab theory. Everyone have their own opinions and choice of their own peers/clique. Indeed!

After I graduated from Gallaudet University, I have perceived in my thoughts of our society on the campus such as peer pressure, establish their own cliques, different communication modes, sign language styles, etc. In same manner in deaf residential school and public schools with deaf program, they do the same kind of approaches in peer gathering. I wish there should be a mentorship or supporting group to increase self-esteem and encourage others to accomplish in their education toward the successful career after their graduation and involve in the deaf community to become stronger and stronger.

In fact, you're all beautiful inside and outside of yourself that empower us through blogs, vlogs, social gathering, conventions, and videophone to share each other as another beautiful collectivism that we learned each other. Please do keep up with our group to be strong in our community.

Warmly regards,

Nick Vera

Deaf socrates trail said...

Excellent information on George Veditz! However, I looked up the definintion of what crab theory is all about. Critizing toward George Veditz what Thmas O Gray slandered him as a Mussolini because Thomas O Gray disliked the idea of merger of NAD and NFSD into one. Both organizations had very different intention of serving the Deaf individual's need in that certain times like 1926. Anyway I could not compare him with Mussolini. George Veditzy was not a violet politican such as a forceful and intimation to our Deaf community with Mussolini who was horrible, violent politican to his people and very dishonet and dirty at sametime his power was raised poltically then it was not crab theory George Veditz just spoke his opinion of merging the two organizations for some reasons. Thomas O Gray wrote him on that Silent Worker newspaper which was very frivilous critizing him for just disliking his opinion. Mussolini was far worst violent politican. How could be called crab theory?

mishkazena said...

Mussolini? That's a pretty harsh label. However, like you said, that was in the year before Mussolini became really a horrendous person. Perhaps at that time, Mussolini was known as a small-time dictator.

Crab Theory?

We don't know what Veditz's personality was like that. Maybe he did come across as a domineering person wanting to control everything, disregarding the wishes of the majority of Deaf people. Maybe not. It would be neat if you could find out more about his personality.

On the other hand, Gray was a petty person, envious of the success of Veditz's leadership and this is a good example of crab theory.

Interesting human drama. It just shows we aren't different from people decades ago ;)

Roughrider said...

Discussion of the crab theory of
George Veditz...Well... Remember the time of Depression Year which he try help them save some money and some of the transportation impact to appear to critcal as the label of
george Veditz my opinion it was the racial conflict in the past....


Jean Boutcher said...

I was glad that Chuck Baird has mentioned a former special vice-president Dr. Mervin Garretson.
Veditz has been Garretson's lifelong hero. He knows him. He
is the one who hails Veditz as a
great genius, a man of enormous
vision of the future which is now
in the corner ever imaginable!
It is very easy to debunk everyhting Gray said in Silent
Worker. His name was Mr. Gray
the Jealous who generated crab

mishkazena said...

correction: I meant to say Gary could have been a petty man.

mishkazena said...

Gray, not Gary *walking to get more coffee* lol

Chuck Baird said...

Jean Boutcher and all,

That is correct that he was genius. Let me repeat the part from my weblog (blog) about George Veditz below. I think it is neat to know more about him.

According to Merv Garretson thru Steve Weiner, Merv was boy attending the Colorado School for the Deaf, he remembered Veditz as teacher. He used cut the grass on his yard. He saw the guy from the next-door came to ask him on the yard if he had the famous German book translated in English. Veditz said, “Sure, I have a copy of book. He went inri his house and brought him the book. The neighbor was shocked; the book was original copy from Germany that he could read it.

Another interesting fact was that he was masterful in chess.

There was world famous chess champion from Russia who came to America touring the cities playing chess with who ever wanted to challenge him, earned the money from the admission like the typical barn storming. He usually played against 10 players at the same time and always won all games, not once defeated or draw. He went to Colorado Spring and he declared he’d play against 20 players. Veditz was one of them. Result; 19 wins and 1 draw. Who made him one draw? Veditz.

Chuck Baird said...

....went into his house and brought him the book.... (typo)

Barb DiGi said...

Hello everybody! Thank you so much for your excellent perspectives and sharing your knowledge. I learned so much from you and appreciated your contirbution! This is awesome!

Dianrez said...

Barb, could you get more material, like if you contacted Merv Garrettson and asked him to write a short bio of Veditz? Coming from someone who personally knew him, it could be enlightening.